The Chhattisgarh government has decided to procure paddy at the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the Centre, as the latter has refused to buy the grain for the central pool from states paying more.
The Congress-led government has announced that it would pay Rs 2,500 for a quintal of paddy to farmers as promised in the election manifesto in 2018. In the kharif marketing season 2018-19, it had indeed paid Rs 2,500 and sought Centre’s permission to continue with that price in the 2019-20 season. The permission was required as the Centre had allegedly refused to buy paddy for the central pool from states paying more than the MSP.
“The state government will procure paddy at the MSP since the Centre did not permit us to purchase paddy at Rs 2,500,” Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said in the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly. The state government would pay the difference to the farmers separately, he said, adding that the Congress government was committed to keep its promise and would ensure that Rs 2,500 reached to farmers’ pocket.
Paddy procurement in the state will start on December 1. The state had set a target to procure 8.5 million tonnes in the current season. The farmers will be paid Rs 1,815 per quintal for common grade and Rs 1,835 for A-grade produce.
Baghel said the state government had set up a committee of five ministers of the state cabinet. “The committee would examine and recommend under which head or scheme the farmers could be paid the difference amount so that they would get Rs 2,500 per quintal for the yield,” the Chief Minister added.